Ben Davis has a distinct variety to his career that’s pretty rare among cinematographers. The DP has not only worked three times with The Banshees of Inisherin filmmaker Martin McDonagh, also having four collaborations with Matthew Vaughn. However, it’s his five stints in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that really stands out. Davis legitimately is largely responsible for the visual palate at Marvel. So, when given a chance to talk The Banshees of Inisherin (and more) with him over Zoom, I was all-in, to say the least. Last week, I spoke to McDonagh here and Barry Keoghan here. Today, it’s Davis’ turn.
Below, you can hear my chat with Davis. We obviously focus on The Banshees of Inisherin, but I did want to touch on the MCU as well, since few can boast the resume that he can. Who else has left such a visual mark on Marvel, while also being a go-to cinematographer for an A-list director like McDonagh? We even hear about his time with Clint Eastwood. It’s a good discussion, largely still focused on a great movie in The Banshees of Inisherin.
This here is more of what I had to say about The Banshees of Inisherin out of TIFF:
How does a long-standing feud begin? Is it some big gesture or something tiny and potentially unseen by the non-aggrieved party? All answers are possible, but in The Banshees of Inisherin, Martin McDonagh wants you to consider those options, as well as entirely other ones as well. While it might sound like something fairly complex and heady, in some ways this is McDonagh’s quietest and simplest film. While never skimping on the laughs, he’s also crafted arguably his darkest movie yet. It’s a definite tightrope walk, one he pulls off with aplomb. As such, it was no surprise to find that the flick played extremely well at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival. It’s a work that lingers with you once the credits roll.
The Banshees of Inisherin is subtle, sometimes to the point where a more passive viewer could feel like they missed something. That’s part of the point, though, and an intentional choice by McDonagh. If In Bruges is his most complete film, with Seven Psychopaths his flashiest, while Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri his broadest, then this one is his most mature.
Here now is my interview with The Banshees of Inisherin cinematographer Ben Davis. Enjoy:
The Banshees of Inisherin is in theaters now!